Photo Credit: Minderoo Foundation.


Global Brain Cancer Mission

A global movement around brain cancer to dramatically increase patient survival over the next decade.

Our mission

Brain cancer is a devastating disease. Like so many rare cancers, the prognosis and treatment options have remained poor for decades, even as other more common cancers have seen dramatic improvements in care. The Global Brain Cancer Mission (GBCM) brings together governments, philanthropists, scientists, clinicians and cancer charities to radically rethink the approach to tackling brain cancer.

The GBCM currently comprises local missions in three countries including the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (UK), Australian Brain Cancer Mission and United States Brain Cancer Mission.

These forums identify and accelerate strategic opportunities to drive new research and increase treatment options for one of the world’s most intractable cancers. Minderoo Foundation’s Collaborate Against Cancer initiative has helped establish, facilitate and fund each of these missions alongside multiple partners.

The process

To achieve our goal, collaboration is essential. Bringing together a diverse set of stakeholders, the GBCM ignites discussion and delivers action, overcoming barriers to research and facilitating improvements in care.

The GBCM builds partnerships and a framework that rewards collaboration and supports innovation in research, adaptive clinical trials and next generation patient profiling.

Looking forward

Brain cancer is a disease that has resisted decades of innovation and research. Despite improvements in neuroimaging, neurosurgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, the survival rates for many brain cancers remain extremely low. For fast-growing tumours like glioblastoma only five percent of patients survive more than five years. Collaboration is the key to reversing these statistics.

We believe that by collaborating on a global scale to make radical advances in brain cancer, we will be able to pave the way for new approaches to research that can help cure other rare cancers too.

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Australian Brain Cancer Mission

The Australian Brain Cancer Mission was founded in 2017 by the Australian Federal Government, with the goal to double survival rates and improve the quality of life for patients with brain cancer over the next 10 years.

Administered by Cancer Australia, this mission has raised over $105 million to date in government and private funding and is now open to grant applications to support innovative and breakthrough programmes in Australia across both adult and paediatric brain cancer. Collaborate Against Cancer has committed $10 million towards this mission.

Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (UK)

The Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (UK) was founded in 2018 by former UK Cabinet Minister and brain cancer sufferer, the late Baroness Tessa Jowell. Collaborate Against Cancer has pledged £1 million to the mission’s projects in addition to the £65 million pledged by the UK government to support the delivery of the mission’s core objectives.

The mission has five strategic workstreams covering a range of areas of focus including treatment and trials, research and science, training, patient experience, and data and innovation.

The UK’s national brain cancer roadmap includes the first ever personalised, adaptive design clinical for brain cancer in the United Kingdom. This mission is also targeting a national rollout of the Integrated Multidisciplinary Care Model (IMCM), an optimised pathway of care which ensures that each patient is seen by a multi-disciplinary team pre- and post-surgery including clinicians with sub-specialisation training relevant to tumour type and patient needs. To foster innovation and leading-edge practice, the UK mission will support an international fellowship programme to train the brightest minds in neuro-oncology at leading centres of excellence in the UK and around the world.

US Brain Cancer Mission

The US Brain Cancer Mission was founded in 2018 with a roundtable co-hosted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Brain Tumor Society and Collaborate Against Cancer in May 2018. Shortly thereafter, the US brain cancer community submitted an ambitious whitepaper to the NCI which outlined recommendations for future brain cancer research and its impact for patients in the USA. The NCI responded with a generous $4 million funding grant to support next generation sequencing efforts that aim to expand our basic understanding of brain cancer, and a commitment to the fund of future transformational brain cancer research. Collaborate Against Cancer has pledged $1 million to the mission.

China Brain Cancer Mission

In 2018, Collaborate Against Cancer conducted preliminary meetings with senior Chinese Government officials and China’s top five hospitals, to discuss the launch of a brain cancer mission in China. Under the guidance of Chinese Health Minister Yixin Zheng, Collaborate Against Cancer is collaborating with the China Cancer Foundation to formulate the next steps in rolling a mission out in China.

Project members

Steve Burnell
Director, Collaborate Against Cancer
Bruce Mansfield